Frybergh Scholarships Awarded

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As in previous years, CSI Metro New York Chapter awarded scholarships amounting to $3,500. The two winners were guests of the Chapter at the June Annual Meeting and Program, and were awarded their scholarships in front of the membership. The Jury Academic Programs Committee members served as the jury, comprised of Linton Stables, Jerry Mills, Anthony Drummond, and Clifford Marvin, and presided over by Academic Programs Committee Chair Ruma Som.  Both the winning students were well deserving of their awards. Candidates for scholarships were required to write an essay on how CSI can help students in their study programs. Their recommendations will be taken into consideration when Academic Programs Committee plans programs for the coming year. The winners are committed to CSI and plan on assisting the Academic Programs Committee in establishing a CSI Student Affiliate. Fereshteh Tabe returned to school after some years in the workplace and brings her professional experience to the academic environment, while Stephanie Paul is a graduate student who will bring the younger student perspective to our Chapter. Profiles of these two very deserving students and their respective essays are below:

Fereshteh Tabe


Fereshteh Tabe is a Project Architect/Designer studying for a Master of Advanced Architectural Design degree at Columbia University (GSAPP) in New York City. She won the MoMA PS1 competition in April 2013 along with Amir Shouri. She was shortlisted for the phase 02 of the reSITE competition in Prague to design a public pavilion on dPAV workshop on June 21, 2013. 

Fereshteh was an active architect/designer in Melbourne, Australia, for the last six years, and prior to that worked for three years in the Middle East. During those years, she was deeply involved in all project phases and types from design through site delivery, developing the projects, and detailing mixed-use and high-end residential projects from schematic design stage to on-site construction administration. She was involved in designing three high-rises in Melbourne, all of which have been completed. 

She is highly skilled at concept design with a keen eye for internal planning and materials selection. With her experience in all stages of project delivery, Fereshteh has a proven understanding of the production of highly refined, carefully targeted, and appropriately economical solutions. During her time at GSAPP she developed a reputation for being by far the most studious person in her class, and as a result, created an astonishing body of work in her considerable portfolio.

In addition to architecture, she also has degrees in Video production/documentary-making and has various experiences in producing short animations and movies. Fereshteh also has experiences running an architectural symposium, participating summer workshops, business writing, strategy planning, event management, conflict resolution, and as a basketball referee.


There are differences between architectural students, graduate architects and senior architects. The fact of having “Technical knowledge” in the build environment causes majority of these differences. Technical knowledge has a very close connection to “experience” factor in the field of architecture and building industry. It is not only limited to construction details and build ability of a concept, but it also covers the issues in budgeting and meeting client needs.

CSI program can help student and graduate architects to become familiar with technical issues and help them to be familiar with possible solutions to them. Architectural products and their specificationa, cost of materials and methods of installation and /or constructions and specific custom made details are some of the areas where clients and developers have more confidence in working with senior architects than graduate/architectural students in their investments. It is the fact that students and recent graduate architects are less experienced in built environment. However, this does not take away the chance of educating new architectural students, more, with current architectural products, new construction methodologies and budgeting limitations in academic architectural projects. The need of such a program in academic architectural programs made industry leaders and architectural school deans to make connections with successful architectural practices. Meanwhile, as most of these efforts have been done under the general idea of “making students familiar with successful architectural practices”, the differences between architectural students, graduate architects and senior architects still remains the same. CSI, as an organization that specifically focuses on setting standards and categories for different parts of a project in built environment, can help architecture students in pedagogy of architectural programs in different schools to better understand the basic technical knowledge in an architectural project. CSI can also help architecture students to be more familiar with involved authorities in an architectural project, contract types, architect-client-contractor relations, team works and team management issues.

The relation between CSI and architecture schools will be reciprocal. One of the most respected factors of architecture schools is the “innovativeness” of their students. If architecture students use CSI inputs and work with them to better understand the architectural projects in built environments while they are in school, then the imaginations and fearless use of CSI standards (for instance in design studios) can lead to new boundaries in construction details, architectural products, means and methods, team management methodologies, coordinative skills, budget management issues, sustainability matters and new standards in specifications and project estimations. Meanwhile, in the large scale, the main benefit goes to economy of the construction and building industry. Cooperation of CSI with academia will end in introducing educated and experienced architectural students to building industry. New generation of graduate architects will know about the full process of building construction. The energy that was harvested in training graduate architects in architectural offices after their graduations will be reduced significantly and savings will be spent on developments of new projects. This will have direct impact on reduction of change order costs that are results of uncompleted coordination and unbuildable details.
CSI can play a very important role for architectural students in their academic studies. However, accurate planning and introduction of clear objectives are necessary to be established between architectural schools and CSI managers. This is not far from reach and will draw a better future for construction and building industry and economy of the whole nation.

Stephanie Paul


Stephanie Paul received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Architectural Studies from Brown University in 2011, and is currently entering her third year of the Master of Architecture program at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York.  In addition to her studies, she is actively involved in research at the J. Max Bond Center at CCNY, where she has had the opportunity to explore housing from many different aspects.  She is interested primarily in residential architecture, but more specifically affordable housing, and improving the social perception of this housing type through design.  Stephanie is excited about what her future holds as a member of CSI – not only for what CSI can contribute to her career, but also for what she can bring to CSI.


Given the rapid growth of technology within America and the ever-changing built environment in New York City, the work of the Construction Specification Institute becomes more significant day by day.  As a Master of Architecture candidate at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture approaching my third year of study, I have had the opportunity to work with construction specifications through UniFormat for a second year project.  Although I explored how construction specifications work as a portion of my studio course, I believe it is essential that construction specification be incorporated in NYC architecture schools as its own course.  In turn, students would be able to present their understanding of CSI objectives – eventually leading to added improvements to the ways in which CSI instructs students.  This type of feedback loop would not only improve students’ understanding of construction specifications, but also improve their future productivity in the workforce, and further improve CSI’s communication with students and professionals alike.